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  4. Biden's embarrassing gaffes at G7: From 'saluting' Meloni to awkwardly 'wandering off' | WATCH

Biden's embarrassing gaffes at G7: From 'saluting' Meloni to awkwardly 'wandering off' | WATCH

The 81-year-old US President was seen 'saluting' Italian PM Meloni as she welcomed him at the G7 Summit 2024 in the southern Puglia region. Later, Biden was seen awkwardly wandering off in the presence of other leaders during a parachute display.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Washington Updated on: June 14, 2024 14:14 IST
US President Joe Biden with other foreign leaders on the
Image Source : REUTERS US President Joe Biden with other foreign leaders on the sidelines of the G7 Summit 2024 in Italy.

G7 Summit 2024: As the highly-anticipated G7 Summit has commenced in Italy's southern Puglia region, US President Joe Biden found himself in another embarrassing position, days after his awkward moment at the D-Day commemorations in France. The 81-year-old US President was first seen awkwardly saluting Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, and was later seen wandering off while other world leaders were engrossed in a parachute display.

Biden, who has faced mounting criticism over his old age and his mental and physical capabilities during his 2024 re-election campaign, was welcomed by Meloni for the G7 Summit on Thursday, after which he was seen making a 'salute' gesture to the Italian PM. Later in the day, Biden made the same saluting gesture towards Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Many slammed him over the salute gesture, which a US President generally does to his own armed forces.

Biden also arrived late to the first day of the G7 Summit, leading to Meloni jokingly scolding him by saying that he "shouldn't leave a woman waiting" before welcoming him with a hug and a smile.

The gaffes reached a new point later in the day, when Biden was present with other leaders including British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron and more. The G7 leaders were engrossed in a flag ceremony, where paratroopers of the Italian army jumped from high altitude waving the flags of the participating countries, leaving the heads of the world's wealthiest democracies open-mouthed.

However, while other leaders were watching the spectacular display, Biden was seen strangely wandering off to speak to a parachutist who was packing his bag, before Meloni dragged him back with other leaders, leading to an awkward repositioning. These gaffes have been highlighted by Biden's critics as a sign of his declining mental acuity.

Biden's D-Day gaffe

At the D-Day commemorations in France, Biden was seen fumbling for his seat as other dignitaries, including French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron - were standing. He squatted down during the ceremony in France on Thursday, then awkwardly held the position for several moments before correcting himself.

While the President was seen grasping for his chair in the middle of the stage in Normandy, US First Lady Jill Biden, who was also standing beside him, quickly covered her mouth and appeared to murmur something to him. The video was widely shared online where users speculated that the First Lady was telling him not to sit down. 

Biden, 81, the oldest US President, is set to face his predecessor and  Republican rival Donald Trump in a re-match of the 2020 election on November 5, 2024. Biden, whose mental health and old age have been under scrutiny lately, has sparked concerns that he is not fit to run for another term as the presidential elections approach. Many have argued that Biden, who will be 82 weeks after this year's presidential elections, is unable to perform the duties of his job and is not fit to run for another term.

However, many netizens pointed out that the video was edited deliberately to show Biden trying to sit down when there was not a chair. According to an assessment by the Associated Press, the video in which Biden’s chair is for the most part clearly visible, is cut before the president sits down. The video apparently cuts off right before Biden takes a seat.

(with inputs from agencies)

ALSO READ | At G7 Summit, Biden, Zelenskyy sign 10-year defence agreement. Will US troops help Ukraine in Russia war?

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